Learning To Trust Our God-given Voice

Do you ever feel stuck between a myriad of opinions? So many that your own voice is smothered? Or maybe you finally get more brave and you venture out with your voice, but it is rejected, criticized, or ignored. And you wonder – Doesn’t my voice count at all?

Coming from a religious background where ministers were put on a pedestal as the voice of God Himself, it felt like our thoughts didn’t count. Their interpretations of Scripture became law. So if I felt a verse meant differently than what we were taught, I scolded myself and tried to smother it. I didn’t want God to rain down fire and brimstone on me. I had no voice at all. I felt like a puppet, only moving where or when someone wanted it to.

God has released me from that mindset, but it has been a long process, and I’m still a work-in-progress. God is showing me more and more how much love He has for us, not condemnation, and how His Spirit can shed light in each of our hearts. How He has given each of us a unique voice.

There are times legalism still digs its talons into my scars and scrapes them open again, but Jesus shows again and again that in Him is freedom, not chokeholds on who we are. He wants us to be who He created us to be, not who others want us to be.

My insecurities still sometimes rear up their ugly heads and distort my thinking. And I falter. Surely that person is more knowledgable than I am, so maybe their opinion is right, and mine is wrong.

To be honest, I am often afraid when I post, reply to comments here, or comment on other blogs. Doubts and fears rattle my heart. What if I write the wrong thing? Once it’s out there, I can’t take it back. What if I don’t glorify God in these words? What if what I say or don’t say hurts instead of helps? I never, ever want to add to the weight of a hurting soul.

Then God whispers, “Follow your heart, My child.”

But God, what if I don’t trust my heart? What if my heart is in the wrong place? 

Step by step, God is leading me to trust Him and His provision more. He confirms to me that if He is my treasure, my heart will be there, too, attune to the rhythm of His own. He wants me to place my heart into His, to rest in His all-sufficient grace, and to allow His love and grace to flow through me. Freely and without restriction.

“For where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.”
Matthew 6:21
“May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to You,
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
Psalm 19:14

However, on this earth, we remain imperfect and broken, don’t we? We may sometimes slip or go astray from following God’s heart. But He will never condemn us. He understands how sorry we feel and how much we desire to follow His heart. No matter how badly we mess up, He wholeheartedly forgives us.

He values each of us. He loves us just as we are, unconditionally. He has given each of us a unique voice, and each of our voices is special to Him. He wants us to follow our hearts, our intuitions, what we truly believe is right.

Through Your Eyes
by Britt Nicole

Your Voice Matters

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Often my voice feels so timid as I write, still sometimes repressed from insecurity and past abuse. Whether writing blog posts, answering comments, or posting comments on other’s blogs, insecurity stabs against my intuition. Or shame attacks and backs me in a corner of dirty and damaged trash.

I sometimes struggle with whether I even have a right to speak of spiritual matters. Past religious training, actually spiritual abuse, drilled it into me that it’s the ministers and the elders that can interpret Scripture. Woe unto us if we doubted their interpretations. If a niggling of a doubt rose up in me, I felt I had sinned against God. I still get these promptings – “Who are you to interpret what God’s Word means?” This still influences me and I easily think my voice doesn’t matter, especially when it comes to writing about God and His promises. But God can personally give each of us light and understanding to interpret His Word. He is not bound by whether we are pastors or teachers in a visible church. His Spirit can fill any one of us with promises of hope, healing, and freedom to pass on to others.

Any kind of abuse has a huge impact on what we think of ourselves. Verbal abuse alone can cripple our thinking. My insecurity prompts me to question my writing even though I have prayed that God would give me the words. Even when I answer comments or write comments at other blogs, I too easily compare myself with others. I start thinking others have much more creative words, or they are much more eloquent than I am. But going down the comparison road is a slippery slope where we no longer see ourselves as a unique and beautiful masterpiece of God Himself with a unique voice to offer to others.

As I step by step learn to place my identity in Jesus, I am emboldened to share my God-given voice. Because in Him, our voices matter, every single thought, word, and feeling. Sometimes when insecurity, shame, and fear devastate my heart and render me speechless, when I’m writing a post, when I’m ready to delete a comment I make, or when I want to change an answer I give, I am stopped by God’s whisper:

Listen to your heart, My child.

Your voice matters.

You don’t have to be eloquent.

Just use the voice that I have given you.

The words in your heart matter.

I can set your repressed voice free.

I make even the weakest of voices strong in My love.

Listen to your heart, My child.

He whispers these words to you, too. Listen to your heart, my dear reader. Whether you write or speak little or much in this vast world of need, take heart in knowing your voice matters. Your words count, each and every one. And filled with Jesus and His love, each of them will find some home somewhere in this world.

 “Art means believing that the God
who created the world with words alone
creates with words still, through us
— whether it be on a stage to thousands
or in a corner with one.”
~ Emily Freeman in A Million Little Ways

Each of you is a masterpiece in God’s eyes, and He can give you words to write or say, no matter how weak and intimidated you feel. One word spoken in the name of Jesus in the darkest little corner of this world can build like a snowball rolling down a mountain and make a positive difference you’ll never know on this side of eternity.

So, my dear friend, open your heart and allow God to speak through you. Stomp on the devil who tries to stop you, and fling out your voice to all around you. Just let the real you speak out those words that are stuffed down in your heart because of past influences. Your voice and your story matter!

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“Glorious Unfolding” by Steven Curtis Chapman

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Bonnie – Faith Barista’s Beloved Brews

God Cares For All His Creation, Including You

Be-Held-by-Holley-Gerth

Gloom seeped into my mind and my heart. As thick and sticky as quicksand pulling me down into a bottomless black hole. No, God, no! Help! What’s happening? Please don’t let me head down the road of depression again. I feel so stuck. Please help!

Sometimes my illness takes my voice away, and this time it hasn’t returned after nearly six weeks. I felt so discouraged on Monday morning, but I knew this gloom was from deeper within me. Sometimes past memories are triggered from when abusers took my voice away, and I knew this must be one of those times. I have been doing fairly well with processing these triggered emotions, but it wasn’t working that morning. The gloom threatened to swallow me up. I tried to think of God’s promises, but they bounced like ping-pong balls right out of my head and far out of reach of my heart.

Stolen
Christy Willard has graciously allowed me to share this.

I decided to go online to one of (In)courage’s abuse support groups I joined, and the picture someone shared from their art journal touched the hurting heart of the little girl inside of me. I cried and realized I not only need to acknowledge what was stolen from my little girl, but I also need to grieve with her for her losses as I bring her with me to rest in Jesus and His love. In His healing and restoration.

It usually helps me to process triggered emotions when I can identify from where the gloom originates. I reminded myself that Jesus has recovered all our losses on the cross. He has given me a voice that no one – past, present, or future – can ever take away from me. A voice in my soul that sometimes comes out in my writing.

But a deep sadness still weighed me down most of the day and smothered my heart like a wet, heavy blanket as I woke up the next morning. I felt so empty. I knew I needed soul rest.

I recently read a fitting acronym of REST. I have added “and abusers” to it.

Restoration of
Everything
Satan and abusers
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One of the ways God gives me REST is to go on a nature walk. It often refreshes my drooping spirit and grounds me again as to who is in control of everything. As I walked along a bike trail next to the river, God whispered, “Open your ears and listen, My child. Open your eyes and see, My child. I take care of My creation and that includes you.”

Soothing sounds reminded me God is still alive. Birds calling, frogs croaking, water gurgling and sometimes rushing, leaves singing a melody of peace as the unseen wind rustled through.

I opened my eyes and soaked in the variety of shades of green and brown throughout the trees and grasses, splashes of other colors mixed in by other plants or flowers. God’s paintbrush. Then I stopped and held my breath. A deer was only a few feet from me in the trees, a rare sight on my walks. Majestically displaying God’s tender loving care.

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And God opened my eyes to more of His creatures. A frog, a dragonfly, ducks and other birds. Even an ant crossing my path.

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With each creature, God said “I am in the ___. I am here, My precious child. Always with you. No matter how rough the journey gets, I will never, ever abandon you.”

God is still with us even when Satan takes advantage of our vulnerabilities. His shouts of lies into our thoughts try to drown out the whispers of God’s love and peace. He robs us of hope, and he tells us all that was stolen from us will never be restored. We are hopelessly dirty, damaged, and desolate for the rest of our lives.

But Truth will always prevail in the end. Jesus triumphed over Satan. God is Almighty and will never let him totally defeat us. No one, not even Satan, can snatch us out of God’s powerful grip of grace.

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”
Romans 16:20 NLT


“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.
No one can snatch them away from Me,
for My Father has given them to Me,
and He is more powerful than anyone else.
No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.”
John 10:28-29 NLT

God is with us always, even when we can’t feel Him. The evidences of His tender loving care are everywhere. He will never leave us or forsake us. Sometimes our hearts may feel so broken and unmendable, but He has promised to heal. And He will in His own time and way. He has promised to restore whatever is stolen from us, and He will layer by layer, digging ever deeper and exposing all our locked away hurts to His healing love. The same God who resurrected dry bones and breathed His Spirit of life into them can completely restore what was stolen from us. And He will, because He cares so deeply.

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Joining Up With:

21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace

Whitespace Writing Prompt:
Enjoy spending time in quietness.
Share what you did and what you discovered.
Share a whitespace moment.